Okay, I watched the Separate Ways video three times last night and twice again this morning. I swear to god, no one will ever produce anything in any medium that can entertain me as much as that can, ever.
Every time I watch it I find something else that cracks me up. The drummer always kills me—absolutely kills me. The half-assed efforts at air keyboards rip my guts out every time. The slo-mo bass playing tickles my funny bone. All of the scenes with Steve Perry attempting to appear earnest and intense are always good for a chuckle. God bless Steve Perry and his stupid mullet, but he’s really trying in this thing. I promise you, this will never get old. The bassist’s mustache. Neil Schon jumping off a forklift and onto his knees to get that last little oomph out of an axe solo. I could go on.
But, gun to my head and hand on a bible, I’m going to have to say the scene from the 1:08 to the 1:23 mark, where the drummer (who woke up that morning in a cut-off t-shirt that appears to say “Foosball Athletic Department” and said, “Fuck it, I’m wearing this to the shoot”) can’t remember if he’s playing air drums or air guitar, is my absolute most favoritest part of this video ever. I don’t know if the chronology would support this theory, but it’s possible that he’s playing the entire performance as an homage to Harry Shearer’s work in This is Spinal Tap.
I’d love to meet the director and pick his brain, as it were. What does the ending mean? Why did you film it at a wharf? A keyboard against a wall?! How many suppositories did you give Steve Perry before you rolled the cameras?
In short, I think this music video is why they invented the tubes for the internets—so we can still watch “Separate Ways” in Music Week 2007.